Design Studio

Permaculture designers are available to design Permaculture gardens and edible landscapes for homeowners, schools and institutions, downtown buildings, businesses and farmers. This may be only a consultation or a full-scale design, but even minimal input can be helpful in beginning a new project the right way. [ Learn more about how Design Studio works ]

Please look over our bios below. All of us are certified at permaculture design and we offer a range of experience and expertise.


Charlie Headington

Charlie Headington
Charlie Headington

Charlie brings 20 years of Permaculture design experience to the Studio. Initially trained by Peter Bane and Chuck Marsh, Charlie quickly settled into practicing Permaculture, first at his own home and then at Elon Homes for Children, Kiser Middle School, Greensboro Day School and Greensboro Montessori School. More recently he completed and then directed the Edible Schoolyard at the Children’s Museum and worked with artists Mags Harries and Lajos Heder in designing Greensboro’s first public orchard (that was installed by the Guild). His current projects bring him further into the inner city where he is developing a specialty in urban permaculture. He also teaches workshops throughout the year and a yearly Permaculture Design Course with Abbey Piner of Durham. He taught for 25 years at UNCG and WWOOFed at organic farms with his wife, Debby, multiple times in Italy and Greece.

He can be reached at


Elaine Shields, CPD

Elaine Shields
Elaine Shields

Elaine received her Permaculture Design Certification in 2013, studying under Charlie Headington and Abbey Piner. Including the continuing transformation of her urban homestead utilizing the principles of Permaculture, Elaine designed Greensboro’s First Presbyterian Church’s ‘Giving Back Garden’; Greensboro Montessori School’s ‘Parking Lot Oasis’; and was a co-designer (with Charlie Headington and Tay Halas) for Elsewhere Museum’s garden. In addition to garden design, Elaine is currently a personal gardener. She’s worked as a graphic designer for over 25 years, and has practiced organic gardening for longer than that.

She can be reached at



Tay Halas, CPD

Tay Halas
Tay Halas

Tay graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Architectural Design, and over the years has worked with a variety of design disciplines. For her, the application of permaculture principles provides a sensible way to integrate these and other skills. She has assisted with the design, installation and maintenance of several edible landscape projects in the area, planting fruit tree guilds, installing carpet ponds and building swales. Tay was also a co-designer (with Charlie Headington and Elaine Shields) for Elsewhere Museum’s garden. A current project involves solving erosion issues on ten acres of former agricultural land, water management being one of her favorite subjects. Tay has also apprenticed with local carpenters, assisting with construction of a Tiny House and other small building projects.

She can be reached at


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